When an oil pipeline ruptured near Santa Barbara, California, on May 19, it leaked 105,000 barrels of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach, and another 21,000 gallons into the Pacific Ocean in the north Santa Barbara Channel. The Refugio Incident created an environmental nightmare for local beaches and wildlife, which continues still.
British oil company BP today announced it will pay $4.5 billion "in fines and other payments to the government," and plead guilty to 14 criminal charges resulting from the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago. How much of that do you imagine will make it to the poor and working-class families whose homes, bodies, and lives were damaged or destroyed by the toxic disaster?
Via @meghangordon, an interesting footnote: The National Academy of Sciences gets $350 million of the BP settlement to study human health and environmental protection in the Gulf of Mexico.
Image, via NYT: The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico that was connected to a well owned by BP killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil. (photo: US Coast Guard)